estate-planning

5 Estate Planning Steps to Consider Before Seeing the Lawyer

If you are considering estate planning to take care of your assets and divide them properly between your loved ones, experienced family lawyers will tell you to write down the information they need before you make an appointment with them. In this way they will have all the information to hand and can get on with the job, saving you both time and money.

So to that end, here is a list of steps you need to take to ensure you have everything covered.

  • Physical assets – these are house, car or any other vehicle you may own and any other asset worth over $100. This can include electronic devices, home theatre, camera, artwork, jewellery, ornaments and expensive even clothing such as a fur coat or wedding dress.
  • Non-physical assets – these will include bank accounts and investments of all kinds. Include the names of the banks and account details as well as the companies you have shares with. It will also include such things as life insurance, other forms of insurance, annuities, pensions and superannuation. Make sure these are all updated with the nominated beneficiaries information still being current.
  • Liabilities – all the debt you owe should also be listed. This includes home loans, business debts, car loans and the balances on your credit cards, if any. You need to think about how you want such debts to be paid off in the event of your death. Add up your total debts so you can work out whether the sale of a specific asset would be enough to pay it all.
benefits-of-estate-planning

7 Benefits of Estate Planning

Estate planning is about much more than just creating a Will so your assets will be divided the way you want them to be. Any estate planning lawyers will tell you that by planning your estate you are making the best decisions about your future and your family’s future in many ways. Here are several benefits of estate planning.

  • A Will is only part of estate planning, but it is an important part. By ensuring your Will is legal and binding, you also ensure that your wishes about the distribution of your assets will be carried out.
  • With an experienced probate lawyer to help structure your estate, taxes can be minimised so your family gets more.
  • Your family won’t have to deal with administration costs that can be very expensive if your estate plan is done properly. They will have enough to cope with at that time with the emotional trauma they will feel and all the arrangements that must be made for the funeral as well as other things affecting their future.
  • Estate planning also includes nominating a Power of Attorney to look after things if you are not able to. For instance, a stroke could leave you unable to communicate properly or at all. If you nominate someone you can trust to have Power of Attorney, they will be able to carry out your wishes as you have written down in your estate plan.